MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men's basketball team battled their way to a 78-65 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) victory over visiting Keuka College, avenging an early season loss to the Wolves to split the series in conference action.
The win lifts the Mustangs to 10-7 overall on the season, 8-1 within NEAC play, moving them up to second in NEAC standings within the North Division. Keuka drops to 7-9, 5-4 in conference play.
Sophomore forward Kevin Dennis (Bronx, N.Y.) led all scorers with his game high 21, earning the double-double with 11 rebounds, while contributing three assists to the win.
Derek Beames (Otego, N.Y.) rounded out the Mustang leaderboard with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Greg Tyler led the Keuka efforts with 17 points, as four additional teammates notched double digits in the losing effort.
Playing to a back and forth opening half, Morrisville State utilized an 11-2 run late in the first period to build a slight lead over the visiting Wolves, carrying the 42-35 advantage into the halftime period. The Mustangs dominated the paint in the opening 20, outscoring Keuka 30-6, while collecting eight additional points off Wolf miscues.
Keuka rallied early in the opening minutes of the second period, cutting the Mustang lead to three, but an 11-2 run again by the hosts found Morrisville State with the double-digit lead, increasing that to as many 15 midway through the half.
The Wolves were able to cut the deficit to eight with 4:39 to go, but that's as close as they could get as Morrisville State was able to seal the victory with five straight points from the free throw line from freshman Jared D'Aloia (Stillwater, N.Y.).
Again the Mustangs dominated the paint, outscoring Keuka 16-6 in the second half of action, while taking advantage, again, of Keuka turnovers.
Morrisville State finished 30-for-63 from the field, while holding the visitors to 31.4% on their 22-of-70 shot attempts.
Morrisville State returns to the court Saturday, traveling to North Division leader SUNY Poly for a cross town rival conference match.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.